Access 2013 Absolute Beginner's Guide

Overview

Make the most of Access 2013—without becoming a technical expert! This book is the fastest way to master Access and use it to build powerful, useful databases of all kinds—even web application databases! Even if you’ve never used Access before, you’ll learn how to do what you want, one incredibly clear and easy step at a time. Access has never, ever been this simple!

Who knew how simple Access® 2013 could be? This is the easiest, most practical beginner’s guide to using ...

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Access 2013 Absolute Beginner's Guide

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Overview

Make the most of Access 2013—without becoming a technical expert! This book is the fastest way to master Access and use it to build powerful, useful databases of all kinds—even web application databases! Even if you’ve never used Access before, you’ll learn how to do what you want, one incredibly clear and easy step at a time. Access has never, ever been this simple!

Who knew how simple Access® 2013 could be? This is the easiest, most practical beginner’s guide to using Microsoft’s incredibly powerful new Access 2013 database program… simple, reliable instructions for doing everything you really
want to do! Here’s a small sample of what you’ll learn:

• Create tables to efficiently store and navigate your data

• Build queries that retrieve exactly the information you want

• Design intuitive forms that help your users work more efficiently

• Build reports that answer key questions intuitively and visually

• Learn easy techniques for designing more reliable databases

• Work faster with AutoForms, AutoReports, and other shortcuts

• Automate repetitive tasks and build more polished databases with macros

• Share Access data with Excel, SQL Server, and other applications

• Solve complex problems with advanced query, form, and reporting techniques

• Build modern web databases that serve users through browsers

• Run your database on the cloud through Microsoft Office 365

• Construct a complete database application from start to finish

• And much more…

Alison Balter, President of InfoTech Services Group, Inc., has spent 25 years training and consulting on Microsoft Access and related applications with top organizations such as Cisco, Shell, Accenture, Northrop, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Prudential, Transamerica, Fox Broadcasting, and the U.S. Navy. She travels throughout North America delivering seminars on Access and has authored 14 books and videos for Pearson, including Microsoft Access 2010 LiveLessons and Alison Balter’s Mastering Access 2007 Development. She is past president of the Independent Computer Consultants Association of Los Angeles.

Category: Databases

Covers: Microsoft® Access® 2013

User Level: Beginning

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789748713
  • Publisher: Que
  • Publication date: 4/30/2013
  • Series: Absolute Beginner's Guide Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 388
  • Sales rank: 1,358,229
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Alison Balter is the president of InfoTech Services Group, Inc., a computer

consulting firm based in Newbury Park, California. Alison is a highly experienced

independent trainer and consultant specializing in Windows applications training

and development. During her 28 years in the computer industry, she has trained

and consulted with many corporations and government agencies. Since Alison

founded InfoTech Services Group, Inc. (formerly Marina Consulting Group) in

1990, its client base has expanded to include major corporations and government

agencies such as Cisco, Shell Oil, Accenture, Northrop, the U.S. Drug Enforcement

Administration, Prudential Insurance, Transamerica Insurance, Fox Broadcasting,

the U.S. Navy, the University of Southern California , Massachusetts Institute of

Technology, and others.

Alison is the author of more than 300 internationally marketed computer training

videos and CD-ROMs, including 18 Access 2000 videos, 35 Access 2002 videos, 15

Access 2003 videos, 14 Access 2007 User Videos, and 18 Access 2007 Developer

Videos. Alison travels throughout North America giving training seminars on

Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, and Visual Basic for Applications.

Alison is also the author of 13 books published by Sams Publishing: Alison

Balter’s Mastering Access 95 Development, Alison Balter’s Mastering Access 97

Development, Alison Balter’s Mastering Access 2000 Development, Alison Balter’s

Mastering Access 2002 Desktop Development, Alison Balter’s Mastering Access

2002 Enterprise Development, Alison Balter’s Mastering Microsoft Access Office

2003, Teach Yourself Microsoft Office Access 2003 in 24 Hours, Access Office 2003

in a Snap, Alison Balter’s Mastering Access 2007 Development, three e-books on

Microsoft Access 2007, and Teach Yourself SQL Express 2005 in

24 Hours. Alison is a co-author of three Access books published by Sams

Publishing: Essential Access 95, Access 95 Unleashed, Access 97 Unleashed, and

Using Microsoft Access 2010.

An active participant in many user groups and other organizations, Alison is a past

president of the Independent Computer Consultants Association of Los Angeles

and of the Los Angeles Clipper Users’ Group. She served as president of the

Ventura County Professional Women’s Network for 2 years.

Alison’s firm, InfoTech Services Group, Inc., is available for consulting work and

onsite training in Microsoft Access, Visual Studio .NET, and SQL Server, as well as

for Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8,

PC networking, and Microsoft Exchange Server. You can contact Alison by email

at Alison@TechIsMyThing.com, or visit the InfoTech Services Group website

at http://www.TechIsMyThing.com.

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Table of Contents

Introduction.....................................................1

Who Should Read This Book.................................................................................... 1

How This Book Is Organized..................................................................................... 1

Requirements, Editions, and Features................................................................ 2

Using This Book.......................................................................................................... 5

1 Why Use Microsoft Access?...................7

What Is a Relational Database?................................................................................ 8

What Types of Things Can I Do with Microsoft Access?....................................... 8

Access as a Development Platform for Small-Business Applications.............. 9

Access as a Development Platform for Departmental Applications................ 9

Access as a Development Platform for Corporation-Wide Applications................10

Access as a Front End for Enterprisewide Client/Server Applications..................11

Access as a Tool to Develop Web Applications..............................................11

A Preview of the Database Components..............................................................11

Tables: A Repository for Data............................................................................11

Relationships: Tying the Tables Together........................................................14

Queries: Stored Questions or Actions You Apply to Data.............................16

Forms: A Means to Display, Modify, and Add Data.......................................17

Reports: Turning Data into Information............................................................18

Macros: A Means of Automating a System......................................................20

Modules: The Foundation of the Application Development Process...........21

2 Getting Started with Microsoft Access........................25

Creating a Database from a Template..................................................................26

Viewing Database Objects......................................................................................27

Viewing Database Tables...................................................................................27

Viewing Queries..................................................................................................30

Viewing Forms.....................................................................................................30

Viewing Reports...................................................................................................31

Creating a Database from Scratch.........................................................................31

Opening an Existing Database...............................................................................32

Closing a Database..................................................................................................33

Exiting Access...........................................................................................................33

3 Tables: The Repository for Your Data............................35

Working with Table Data.........................................................................................36

Opening an Access Table..................................................................................36

Navigating Around a Table................................................................................36

Closing a Table....................................................................................................38

Editing Table Data...................................................................................................39

Edit Existing Records..........................................................................................39

Undoing Changes...............................................................................................39

Adding Records to a Table.....................................................................................40

Add Records to a Table...........................................................................................40

Deleting Records......................................................................................................41

Selecting One or More Records........................................................................41

Deleting Records.................................................................................................42

Finding and Replacing Records.........................................................................44

Filtering Table Data..................................................................................................47

Filtering by Selection..........................................................................................47

Removing Filters..................................................................................................48

4 Using Queries to Retrieve the Data You Need......................51

What Is a Query and When Should You Use One?..............................................51

Creating a Simple Query.........................................................................................52

Designing the Query...........................................................................................52

Adding Tables to Queries..................................................................................53

Adding Fields to Queries...................................................................................53

Ordering the Query Result......................................................................................56

Sorting on a Single Field....................................................................................56

Sorting on More Than One Field......................................................................57

Working with Simple Criteria..................................................................................57

Using an Exact Match Query.............................................................................57

Creating Criteria Based on Multiple Conditions..............................................58

Saving a Query.........................................................................................................66

Closing a Query........................................................................................................66

5 Using Forms to Display and Modify Information................69

Moving from Record to Record in a Form.......................................................70

Undoing Changes Made Within a Form...........................................................71

Using a Form to Delete Records from a Table................................................73

Copying Records Within a Form.......................................................................76

Finding a Record That Meets Specific Criteria................................................77

Sorting Records........................................................................................................79

Sort Records on a Single Field..........................................................................80

Filtering the Data Underlying a Form....................................................................80

Use the Filter by Form Feature..........................................................................80

Removing a Filter................................................................................................81

Use Multiple Filter Criteria.................................................................................81

Closing a Form.........................................................................................................83

6 Creating Your Own Forms.....................................85

The AutoForm Feature............................................................................................86

Create a Form by Using the AutoForm Feature..............................................86

Saving a Form......................................................................................................87

Using the Form Wizard to Build a Form................................................................87

Creating Split Forms................................................................................................88

Creating Multiple Item Forms.................................................................................90

Creating Navigation Forms.....................................................................................91

Customizing a Navigation Form........................................................................93

Creating a Navigation Form with Horizontal and Vertical Tabs.....................95

7 Using Reports to Print Information.........................99

Opening and Viewing a Report............................................................................100

Preview a Report...............................................................................................100

Moving from Page to Page..............................................................................100

Zooming In and Out ........................................................................................101

Viewing Multiple Pages....................................................................................102

Working in Layout View.........................................................................................103

Working in Report View.........................................................................................103

Printing a Report....................................................................................................104

Use Page Setup.................................................................................................104

Sending Reports to the Printer........................................................................105

Closing a Report.....................................................................................................105

8 Building Your Own Reports............................... 109

Using the AutoReport Feature.........................................................................110

Viewing the Design of a Report............................................................................113

Types of Reports Available....................................................................................114

Detail Reports....................................................................................................114

Summary Reports..............................................................................................115

Reports with Graphics.......................................................................................116

Reports with Forms...........................................................................................116

Reports with Labels...........................................................................................117

Creating Mailing Labels....................................................................................117

9 Creating Your Own Tables............................ 125

Building a New Table............................................................................................126

Building a Table from a Datasheet.................................................................126

Designing a Table from Scratch......................................................................128

Selecting the Appropriate Field Type for Data..................................................129

Short Text Fields: The Most Common Field Type........................................132

Long Text Fields: For Long Notes and Comments.......................................132

Number Fields: For When You Need to Calculate.......................................132

Date/Time Fields: For Tracking When Things Happened............................133

Currency Fields: For Storing Money...............................................................133

AutoNumber Fields: For Unique Record Identifiers......................................133

Yes/No Fields: For When One of Two Answers Is Correct..........................134

OLE Object Fields: For Storing Just About Anything...................................134

Hyperlink Fields: For Linking to the Internet..................................................134

Attachment Fields: For Storing File Attachments Associated with a Record............134

Calculated Fields: For Storing Your Database Calculations.........................135

Using Indexes to Improve Performance...............................................................135

Create an Index Based on a Single Field.......................................................136

Create an Index Based on Multiple Fields.....................................................137

The All-Important Primary Key..............................................................................137

Working with Field Properties...............................................................................138

The Field Size Property: Limiting What the User Enters into a Field..........139

The Format Property: Determining How Access Displays Data...................139

The Caption Property: Providing Alternatives to the Field Name...............141

The Default Value Property: Saving Data-Entry Time...................................142

The Validation Rule and Validation Text Properties: Controlling What the User Enters in a Field......142

The Required Property: Making the User Enter a Value...............................144

The Allow Zero Length Property: Accommodating for Situations with Nonexistent Data..........144

The Input Mask Property: Determining What Data Goes into a Field.........................145

The Lookup Wizard...........................................................................................147

10 Relating the Information in Your Database........................ 151

Introduction to Relational Database Design.......................................................152

The History of Relational Database Design.........................................................152

Goals of Relational Database Design.............................................................152

Rules of Relational Database Design..............................................................152

Normalization and Normal Forms...................................................................154

Denormalization: Purposely Violating the Rules............................................158

Integrity Rules....................................................................................................158

The Types of Relationships...................................................................................159

One-to-Many Relationships..............................................................................159

One-to-One Relationships................................................................................160

Many-to-Many Relationships............................................................................161

Establishing Relationships in Access....................................................................161

Following Guidelines for Establishing Relationships.....................................162

Modifying an Existing Relationship.................................................................164

Establishing Referential Integrity..........................................................................164

The Cascade Update Related Fields Option.................................................166

The Cascade Delete Related Records Option...............................................167

11 Enhancing the Queries That You Build................................. 171

Everything You Ever Needed to Know About Query Basics.............................172

Removing a Field from the Query Design Grid.............................................172

Inserting a Field After a Query Is Built............................................................172

Moving a Field to a Different Location on the Query Grid..........................173

Move More Than One Column........................................................................173

Updating Query Results.........................................................................................173

Update Results of a Query...............................................................................174

Building Queries Based on Multiple Tables........................................................174

Pitfalls of Multitable Queries............................................................................176

AutoLookup in Multitable Queries..................................................................177

Modifying the Datasheet View of a Query.....................................................178

Printing Query Results......................................................................................181

Refining a Query by Using Criteria.......................................................................184

Working with Dates in Criteria.........................................................................185

12 Advanced Query Techniques........................................ 189

Creating Calculated Fields....................................................................................190

Getting Help from the Expression Builder..........................................................191

Creating and Running Parameter Queries...........................................................192

Creating and Running Action Queries.................................................................194

Creating and Running Update Queries..........................................................195

Creating and Running Delete Queries............................................................197

Creating and Running Append Queries.........................................................198

Creating and Running Make Table Queries...................................................201

Using Aggregate Functions to Summarize Numeric Data.................................202

Creating Totals Queries.........................................................................................203

Working with Outer Joins......................................................................................206

Establish an Outer Join....................................................................................206

13 Building Powerful Forms................................................ 209

Power Control Techniques....................................................................................210

Add Fields to a Form........................................................................................210

Selecting, Moving, Aligning, and Sizing Form Objects................................211

Modifying Object Tab Order...........................................................................219

Conditional Formatting..........................................................................................219

Conditionally Format Data...............................................................................220

Form Properties and Why Should You Use Them..............................................221

Working with the Properties Window.............................................................221

Working with the Important Form Properties................................................222

Control Properties and Why to Use Them..........................................................227

The Format Properties of a Control................................................................227

The Data Properties of a Control....................................................................230

The Other Properties of a Control..................................................................233

14 Advanced Form Techniques................................... 237

Working with Combo Boxes.................................................................................238

List Boxes...........................................................................................................241

The Command Button Wizard: Programming Without Typing.........................241

Building Forms Based on More Than One Table...............................................244

Creating One-to-Many Forms..........................................................................244

Working with Subforms....................................................................................247

15 Building Powerful Reports..................................... 251

The Anatomy of a Report......................................................................................252

Control Properties and Why to Use Them..........................................................253

The Format Properties of a Control................................................................253

The Data Properties of a Control....................................................................258

The Other Properties of a Control..................................................................258

Building Reports Based on More Than One Table............................................260

Creating One-to-Many Reports.......................................................................260

Working with Subreports..................................................................................266

16 Advanced Report Techniques...................................... 269

Working with Sorting and Grouping....................................................................270

Add Sorting and Grouping to a Report..........................................................270

Sorting and Grouping Settings........................................................................271

Group Header and Footer Properties and Why to Use Them.....................273

Report Properties and Why to Use Them............................................................274

Working with the Properties Window.............................................................275

The Format Properties of a Report.................................................................275

The Report’s Data Properties...........................................................................276

Other Properties of a Report...........................................................................277

Basing Reports on Stored Queries or Embedded SQL Statements...................278

17 Automating Your Database with Macros............................. 281

Learning the Basics of Creating and Running a Macro......................................282

Working with Macro Actions............................................................................282

Working with Action Arguments.....................................................................284

Submacros..........................................................................................................286

Program Flow.....................................................................................................287

Running an Access Macro.....................................................................................289

Running a Macro from the Macro Design Window.......................................290

Running a Macro from the Macros Group of the Navigation Pane.............290

Triggering a Macro from a Form or Report Event.........................................291

Modifying an Existing Macro................................................................................292

Inserting New Macro Actions...........................................................................292

Deleting Macro Actions....................................................................................292

Moving Macro Actions......................................................................................293

Copying Macro Actions....................................................................................293

Creating an Embedded Macro.............................................................................294

18 Advanced Macro Techniques...................................... 299

Creating Data Macros............................................................................................300

Respond to Events............................................................................................300

Creating a Drillthrough Macro..............................................................................301

Other New Features Available in Macros............................................................304

Testing a Macro......................................................................................................305

Determining When You Should Use Macros and When You Shouldn’t...........306

Converting a Macro to VBA Code.......................................................................307

Creating an AutoExec Macro................................................................................308

19 Sharing Data with Other Applications........................ 311

What Is External Data?...........................................................................................312

Importing, Linking, and Opening Files: When and Why...................................312

Determining Whether to Import or Link.........................................................313

Looking at Supported File Formats.................................................................314

Exporting to Another Access Database...............................................................314

Exporting to an Excel Spreadsheet......................................................................316

Exporting to an Excel Spreadsheet Using the Context-Sensitive Menu.................316

Exporting to an Excel Spreadsheet Using Drag and Drop...........................317

Exporting to an Excel Spreadsheet by Using the External Data Tab on the Ribbon......318

Exporting to ASCII..................................................................................................318

Export Tables and Queries to the ASCII File Format....................................318

Importing from Another Access Database..........................................................321

Import an Access Table....................................................................................322

Importing Spreadsheet Data.................................................................................323

Importing ASCII Data.............................................................................................326

Import ASCII Data into Access........................................................................326

Linking to Tables in Another Access Database...................................................329

Linking to Another Type of Database..................................................................331

Link to Excel Spreadsheets..............................................................................331

Linking to SQL Server Databases....................................................................333

The Linked Table Manager...................................................................................338

Move and Update Table Links.........................................................................338

20 Working with Web Databases............................. 343

Working with Web Databases...............................................................................344

Creating a Blank Web Database..........................................................................344

Creating a Query....................................................................................................346

Creating and Working with Forms........................................................................349

Creating a New Form.......................................................................................350

Customizing an Existing Form.........................................................................354

Using a Template to Create a Website...............................................................357

Viewing Your Website in a Browser.....................................................................358

21 Putting It All Together............................................ 363

Designing the Tables to Store Your Data............................................................364

Building the Forms to Edit Your Data..................................................................369

Designing the Clients Form.............................................................................369

Designing the Projects Form...........................................................................372

Adding a Command Button That Links the Clients and Projects Forms.........374

Building the Queries to Extract the Data You Need..........................................375

Designing the Reports to Display Your Data......................................................377

Designing the rptClientListing Report............................................................377

Building the Macros Necessary to Automate Your Application..................380

Index ........................................... 383

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